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Thomas Gasser and Ferenc Krausz in Conversation

Ferenc Krausz, Thomas Gasser

What does it take to achieve a scientific breakthrough and how can it impact the world around us? On the last Summit Day Ferenc Krausz, 2023 Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, and Thomas Gasser, the recipient of the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Life Science, will share their insights in a talk moderated by Jürgen Mlynek.

Ferenc Krausz

Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics Munich & LMU München

Ferenc Krausz (born 1962 in Mór/Hungary) earned his degree in Electrical Engineering at the Technical University Budapest (1985). He completed his doctorate in Laser Physics at the Technische Universität (TU) Vienna (1991) where he habilitated in the same research field in 1993, took up assistant professorship in 1998 and full professorship in 1999. In 2003 Ferenc Krausz was appointed Director of the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching. In October 2004 he became professor at the Faculty of Physics of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich and has since then held the Chair of Experimental Physics – Laser Physics.
In a series of experiments performed between 2001 and 2004 his team succeeded in producing and measuring isolated attosecond pulses of light and applying them for the first real-time observation of atomic-scale electronic motions. These achievements earned him the reputation as the co-founder (along with Paul Corkum) of the field of Attosecond Physics, a scientific discipline devoted to real-time observation and control of electron phenomena, as also acknowledged by their selection as 2015Thomson Reuters Citation Laureates. More recently, he turned his attention to capitalizing on attosecond techniques for disease detection by the molecular fingerprinting of human bio-fluids. For his contributions to establishing the field of Attosecond Science, Ferenc Krausz was announced as a recipient of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics, together with Anne L´Huillier and Pierre Agostini

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Thu | Nov 09, 2023 | 12.40 PM - 12.50 PM Berlin Time

Ferenc Krausz: Breaking the Wall to Attoseconds

Thomas Gasser was born on June 23, 1958, in Stuttgart in Southern Germany. He began to study medicine in Freiburg in 1977. As he was attracted to scientific research early on, he interrupted his medical studies to spend 18 months with a stipend of the German Scholarship Foundation in a laboratory at the Dept. of Pharmacology at Yale University, where he worked on cancer chemotherapies. He graduated from the University of Freiburg in 1985 and decided to focus on neurology and neuroscience. During his post-graduate training in neurology, which he conducted at the University of Munich, he also spent 2 years as a post-doctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Xandra Breakefield at the Neuroscience Center of the Department of Neurology, Harvard Medical School in 1991/92, where he began to work on the genetic analysis of inherited forms of Parkinson’s disease. After his return to Munich, he started his own research group in neurogenetics research group. In 2002 he accepted a professorship at the University of Tübingen’s Hertie-Institute for Clinical Brain Research as head of the Department of Neurology and Neurodegenerative Diseases and in 2009 he became Coordinator of Clinical Studies at the Tübingen site of the then newly founded German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases.
At that time, Parkinson’s disease was generally not considered to be a genetic disease. His work, along with that the co-recipients of the 2024 Breakthrough Award, Ellen Sidransky (National Human Genome Research Institute) and Andrew Singleton (National Institute on Aging) however uncovered key genetic risk factors for the disease (namely, the GBA1 and LRRK2 genes). Their discoveries contributed to a paradigm shift in Parkinson’s disease, which, like cancer, is now understood to be heterogeneous group of diseases fed by multiple genetic pathways. This paradigm shift has stimulated investigation into novel and highly-targeted therapeutics that (beyond symptom relief) could potentially stop disease progression or ideally, if administered years before symptoms first appear, even prevent its onset. Currently, several multi-center clinical trials that are testing proof of concept to slow the progression of so far untreatable features of the disease as for example debilitating cognitive impairment in genetically stratified groups of patients.

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Thu | Nov 09, 2023 | 12.30 PM - 12.40 PM Berlin Time

Thomas Gasser: Breaking the Wall of Parkinson

About the Venue
Radialsystem – Lecture Hall
Holzmarktstraße 33
Berlin, 10243 Germany

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